Saturday, June 27, 2009

Walpin's Kevin Johnson Investigation Initiated at Request of Governator ????

Per Maggie's Notebook, it appears that Gov. Schwarzenegger may have requested a federal investigation into Kevin Johnson after a teenage female volunteer complained of "inappropriate touching" by the Great & Powerful Boz's good friend....


Schwarzenegger Involvement: Kevin Johnson Investigation by Gerald Walpin

An important question lingered. Who at the Corporation for National and Community Service (CNCS) asked Inspector Gerald Walpin to investigate Kevin Johnson and St. HOPE in the first place? - and why? And why hasn't this question been investigated? Maybe because there is a need to make it appear that Walpin was on a witch hunt, but the request came from Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger. He asked the "federal government" to investigate Johnson. Did the "federal government" mean a U.S. Attorney, or the federal agency, CNCS, the corporation that administers AmeriCorps? Whichever, AmeriCorps then turned the Kevin Johnson investigation over to Gerald Walpin.

Arnold Schwarzenegger

What was known even before Gerald
Walpin became involved? Here's the answer: (The Sacramento Union, dated May 1, 2008):
A Sacramento-based nonprofit run by former NBA star and Sacramento mayoral candidate Kevin Johnson is facing scrutiny after a teenager complained of inappropriate touching by Johnson.

Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger’s office asked the federal government to investigate because the nonprofit, St. HOPE, has received money in the past from the federal AmeriCorps program.

The governor’s California Volunteers office administers AmeriCorps money coming to the state and is required to report such allegations.

Marta Bortner, a spokeswoman for the state volunteer office, says the request was made to the AmeriCorps inspector general last week. It was triggered by a report filed a year ago with Sacramento County Child Protective Services.

So Walpin investigated at the request of AmeriCorps via Schwarzenegger, and the investigation began with a sexual abuse allegation into Johnson, who founded St. HOPE Academy, an AmeriCorp recipient. As the investigation progressed and unearthed misuse of federal monies, AmeriCorp and CNCS didn't like the results. Perhaps a President Barack Obama was only a distant possibility in the Spring of 2008. Who knew what was coming? Who knew that soon-to-be president, Barack Obama, planned a "civilian national security force that's just as powerful, just as strong, just as well-funded" as our military. Who knew that Michelle Obama would be instrumental in who CNCS brought on staff? Who knew that Barack Obama planned to make AmeriCorps a "cause" of his presidency.

Let's get it straight about who employed Gerald
Walpin during the time of his investigations. He worked for a the CNCS which is a federal agency. Congress has established rules to protect the sanctity of all Inspector Generals to protect them from political motivation. Here is how Walpin explained his position to another CNCS division, Learn and Serve America grantees, October 23, 2008.
Finally, you should know that there are Inspectors General working at every Federal agency under a system established by Congress in 1978 under the Inspector General Act. I’m a presidential appointee and I was confirmed by the U.S. Senate. I serve at the pleasure of President Bush. Only the president, not the head of the agency my office oversees, can remove me from office. And even the President’s power to remove me is subject to the transparency requirement that he must explain to Congress his reason for doing so. This system guarantees my independence.
In 2007 when Walpin was confirmed by the Senate to the Inspector General position, David Eisner, a former AOL executive, was the CNCS CEO. CNCS, with a big red tab "About AmeriCorps" on it's homepage, announced Walpin's confirmation and extolled his accomplishments:

For over 40 years, Walpin was a partner with the New York City law firm Katten Muchin and Rosenman LLP, chairing the firm’s litigation department, and is now Counsel to that firm. His practice included the determination of the existence of fraud within corporations, and recoveries resulting from such fraud. Before his private practice, he was law secretary to two Federal District Court Judges, served in the United States Air Force J.A.G., and was the Chief of Special Prosecutions for the United States Attorney in the Southern District of New York. He also served as President of the Federal Bar Council, the bar association of attorneys practicing in the Second Circuit Federal Courts, from 2002 to 2004. He received a bachelor’s degree from City College of New York and graduated cum laude from Yale Law School.

The numerous recognitions of Walpin’s legal expertise include the American Inns of Court Professionalism Award, which was presented by Supreme Court Justices Ruth Bader Ginsberg and Stephen Breyer and Court of Appeals Chief Judge John Walker during the 2003 Second Circuit Judicial Conference for outstanding professionalism as an attorney and mentoring of young lawyers. He is a frequent lecturer and writer on legal topics. In addition to his professional accomplishments, he has received numerous awards for his charitable and philanthropic activities.

The CNCS administers many organizations, including AmeriCorps, which is actually a "division" of CNCS. In this case, AmeriCorps is definitely a part of the story of Gerald Walpin, and Kevin Johnson is central to why the investigation began in the first place, and I think, why Walpin was fired.

The Obama administration is in the midst of discrediting former Inspector General Gerald
Walpin in a particularly egregious manner, with the attempt to show him as senile or some version of senile, although they have not used those words. The claim is he was "confused and disoriented" during a May 20th CNCS board meeting. Walpin said the Board called for a break in the middle of his testimony. He left the room and when he returned, his report had become "disorganized," intimating, I think, that someone jumbled or shuffled his report.

As you read through the squeals from the White House and the charge from acting U.S. Attorney Brown saying
Walpin handled his reports incorrectly, especially when he "recommended" that Kevin Johnson no longer be able to get his hands on federal funds, Gerald Walpin answered that charge in full, and remember that the CNCS was still Walpin's employer when his report was turned over the U.S. Attorney's office.


Thanks for the heads up Maggie!

Permalink below...

Maggie's Notebook: Schwarzenegger Involvement: Kevin Johnson Investigation by Gerald Walpin


So does anyone think BOTUS would still be happy with good 'ol buddy Kevin Johnson had the mayor turned his prurient interests toward First Daughter Malia. I don't think so!!!!

Michelle Malkin's I.E.D. - EPA Actively Suppressing Internal Research that Cuts Against Agency's "Human Caused" Climate Change Health Dangers

Michelle Malkin has today dumped a stunning story on an EPA internal cover-up of a report by EPA economist Alan Carver that challenges the EPA's health "endangerment" position on carbons.

In my view, EPA's suppression of the Carver analysis amounts to nothing less than a massive government fraud upon this republic's citizens and taxpayers. Perhaps it's time for Republicans and patriotic Democrats to call for an independent prosecutor.

Below in part is Ms. Malkin's eloquent story:

EPA’s game of global warming hide-and-seek
by Michelle Malkin
Creators Syndicate
Copyright 2009

The Obama administration doesn’t want to hear inconvenient truths about global warming. And they don’t want you to hear them, either. As Democrats rush on Friday to pass a $4 trillion-dollar, thousand-page “cap and trade” bill that no one has read, environmental bureaucrats are stifling voices that threaten their political agenda.

The free market-based Competitive Enterprise Institute in Washington (where I served as a journalism fellow in 1995) obtained a set of internal e-mails exposing Team Obama’s willful and reckless disregard for data that undermine the illusion of “consensus.” In March, Alan Carlin, a senior research analyst at the Environmental Protection Agency, asked agency officials to distribute his analysis on the health effects of greenhouse gases. EPA has proposed a public health “endangerment finding” covering CO2 and five other gases that would trigger costly, extensive new regulations of motor vehicles. The open comment period on the ruling ended this week. But Carlin’s study didn’t fit the blame-human-activity narrative, so it didn’t make the cut.

On March 12, Carlin’s director, Al McGartland, forbade him from having “any direct communication” with anyone outside his office about his study. “There should be no meetings, emails, written statements, phone calls, etc.” On March 16, Carlin urged his superiors to forward his work to EPA’s Office of Air and Radiation, which runs the agency’s climate change program. A day later, McGartland dismissed Carlin and showed his true, politicized colors:

“The time for such discussion of fundamental issues has passed for this round. The administrator and the administration has decided to move forward on endangerment, and your comments do not help the legal or policy case for this decision… I can only see one impact of your comments given where we are in the process, and that would be a very negative impact on our office.”

Contrary comments, in other words, would interfere with the “process” of ramming the EPA’s endangerment finding through. Truth-in-science took a backseat to protecting eco-bureaucrats from “a very negative impact.”

In another follow-up e-mail, McGartland warned Carlin to drop the subject altogether: “With the endangerment finding nearly final, you need to move on to other issues and subjects. I don’t want you to spend any additional EPA time on climate change. No papers, no research etc, at least until we see what EPA is going to do with Climate.”

But, of course, the e-mails show that EPA had already predetermined what it was going to do – “move forward on endangerment.” Which underscores the fact that the open public comment period was all for show. In her message to the public about the radical greenhouse gas rules, EPA administrator Lisa Jackson requested “comment on the data on which the proposed findings are based, the methodology used in obtaining and analyzing the data, and the major legal interpretations and policy considerations underlying the proposed findings.” Ms. Jackson, meet Mr. Carlin.

The Conyers' Curious Timing: He Drops Congressional ACORN probe, She Pleads Guilty in U.S.D.O.J. Bribery Probe

On Thursday June 25th came the following story from the Washington Times concerning Chairman of the House Judiciary Committee John Conyers, (D-Mich) decision to kill a Judiciary Committee investigation into ACORN on the grounds that the "Powers that be" had decided that no such investigation should proceed.


House Judiciary Committee Chairman John Conyers Jr. has backed off his plan to investigate wrongdoing by the liberal activist group ACORN, saying "powers that be" put the kibosh on the idea.

Mr. Conyers, Michigan Democrat, earlier bucked his party leaders by calling for hearings on accusations the Association of Community Organization for Reform Now (ACORN) has committed crimes ranging from voter fraud to a mob-style "protection" racket.

"The powers that be decided against it," Mr. Conyers told The Washington Times.

The chairman declined to elaborate, shrugging off questions about who told him how to run his committee and give the Democrat-allied group a pass.

Pittsburgh lawyer Heather Heidelbaugh, whose testimony about ACORN at a March 19 hearing on voting issues prompted Mr. Conyers to call for a probe, said she was perplexed by Mr. Conyers' explanation for his change of heart.

"If the chair of the Judiciary Committee cannot hold a hearing if he want to [then] who are the powers that he is beholden to?" she said. "Is it the leadership, is it the White House, is it contributors? Who is 'the power?'"

Capitol Hill Democrats had bristled at proposed hearings because it threatened to rekindle criticism of the financial ties and close cooperation between President Obama's campaign and ACORN and its sister organizations Citizens Services Inc. and Project Vote.

The groups came under fire during the campaign after probes into possible voter fraud in a series of presidential battleground states, including Ohio, Pennsylvania, Michigan, New Mexico and Nevada.

ACORN and its affiliates are currently the target of at least 14 lawsuits related to voter fraud in the 2008 election and a Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations (RICO) Act complaint filed by former ACORN members.

The group's leaders have consistently denied any wrongdoing and previously said they welcomed a congressional probe. The group did not immediately respond Thursday to questions about Mr. Conyers being convinced to drop those plans.


ONE DAY LATER, June 26, 2009, Conyers' wife Monica pleads guilty after being charged in a FEDERAL D.O.J. bribery investigation involving sludge-hauling contracts in Detroit. She faces five ... count 'em FIVE ... long years in a federal can, or then again, just maybe she won't face any jail time at all...???

Lemee think... any tie-in here? Who runs the Department of Justice? Oh, yeah... Eric (Marc Rich's Best Friend) Holder, who dropped charges of voter intimidation against two New Black Panther Party thugs after the government already had default judgments against them.

Hat tip to
Ms. Placed Democrat who's very timely blog post put me on to this train of thought

Friday, June 26, 2009

Democrat Ethics on Parade: Monica Conyers (Wife of Rep. John Conyers (D-Mich)) Pleads Guilty to Bribery

Its late, and... well, all I can say right now is Wow!!! I think my post title says it all.

From ABC News (a/k/a The All Barack Channel) comes the following story:


Direct Link: Wife of Judiciary Chairman Conyers Pleads Guilty to Bribery

Monica Conyers, Wife of Rep. John Conyers, D-Mich., Pleads Guilty to Federal Bribery Charge


WASHINGTON, June 26, 2009—

Monica Conyers, the wife of the powerful chairman of the House Judiciary Committee, Rep. John Conyers, D-Mich., pleaded guilty to one count of bribery in a federal court in Detroit, this morning.

According to court documents, in late 2007, Mrs. Conyers, president pro tem of the Detroit City Council, twice accepted envelopes filled with cash, once in the parking lot of a Detroit McDonalds.

This case focuses around dealings with Detroit businessman Rayford Jackson who pleaded guilty on Monday to giving $6,000 to a member of the Detroit City Council to help steer a wastewater treatment contract to Synagro Technologies.

Jackson was working as a consultant for Synagro which won the $1.2 Billion contract to remove sludge from the city's water treatment plants. The contract was awarded in 2007.

The criminal information noted that on Nov. 20, 2007 and Dec. 4, 2007 Mrs. Conyers received envelopes filled with cash from people associated with Jackson.

After initially opposing a sludge contract with Synagro, Mrs. Conyers, after accepting a bribe, became the deciding vote in the city council on a resolution to approve the contract.

Mrs. Conyers faces up to 5 year in prison, three years supervised release and/or a $250,000 fine. Calls to an attorney for Mrs. Conyers were not immediately returned.

Rep. John Conyers, a 23-term Democrat, has no involvement in any of the charges and is expected to continue as Chairman of the Judiciary Committee, which oversees the Justice Department and the FBI.

In a statement from a spokesman for Rep. Conyers said, "This has been a trying time for the Conyers family and, with hope and prayer, they will make it through this as a family. Public officials must expect to be held to the highest ethical and legal standards. With this in mind, Mr. Conyers wants to work towards helping his family and city recover from this serious matter."

Conyers failed to appear Friday morning at an event at the National Press Club on a panel discussion on prosecutorial misconduct at the Justice Department. House Judiciary Committee counsel Elliot Mincberg, appeared on the chairman's behalf and stated the congressman has "present business on Capitol Hill."

As the Democrat Leadership Plans to Cripple America with Cap and Trade, the Rest of the World Seems to be Coming to its Senses

From the Wall Street Journal's Kimberley Strassel comes this gem on the massive global shift in opinion on "Climate Change" based on evidence that the whole Al Bore putsch on "Global Warming" is rooted in deeply flawed science. Even so, Waxman, Markey, Frank, Pelosi and "Mr. Transparency" himself, the Great and Powerful BOZ, continue to ram "climate change" legislation through against both the compelling evidence debunking the validty of the "science" upon which they rely and the clear wishes of the American people.


The Climate Change Climate Change

The number of skeptics is swelling everywhere.

Steve Fielding recently asked the Obama administration to reassure him on the science of man-made global warming. When the administration proved unhelpful, Mr. Fielding decided to vote against climate-change legislation.

If you haven't heard of this politician, it's because he's a member of the Australian Senate. As the U.S. House of Representatives prepares to pass a climate-change bill, the Australian Parliament is preparing to kill its own country's carbon-emissions scheme. Why? A growing number of Australian politicians, scientists and citizens once again doubt the science of human-caused global warming.

Among the many reasons President Barack Obama and the Democratic majority are so intent on quickly jamming a cap-and-trade system through Congress is because the global warming tide is again shifting. It turns out Al Gore and the United Nations (with an assist from the media), did a little too vociferous a job smearing anyone who disagreed with them as "deniers." The backlash has brought the scientific debate roaring back to life in Australia, Europe, Japan and even, if less reported, the U.S.

In April, the Polish Academy of Sciences published a document challenging man-made global warming. In the Czech Republic, where President Vaclav Klaus remains a leading skeptic, today only 11% of the population believes humans play a role. In France, President Nicolas Sarkozy wants to tap Claude Allegre to lead the country's new ministry of industry and innovation. Twenty years ago Mr. Allegre was among the first to trill about man-made global warming, but the geochemist has since recanted. New Zealand last year elected a new government, which immediately suspended the country's weeks-old cap-and-trade program.

The number of skeptics, far from shrinking, is swelling. Oklahoma Sen. Jim Inhofe now counts more than 700 scientists who disagree with the U.N. -- 13 times the number who authored the U.N.'s 2007 climate summary for policymakers. Joanne Simpson, the world's first woman to receive a Ph.D. in meteorology, expressed relief upon her retirement last year that she was finally free to speak "frankly" of her nonbelief. Dr. Kiminori Itoh, a Japanese environmental physical chemist who contributed to a U.N. climate report, dubs man-made warming "the worst scientific scandal in history." Norway's Ivar Giaever, Nobel Prize winner for physics, decries it as the "new religion." A group of 54 noted physicists, led by Princeton's Will Happer, is demanding the American Physical Society revise its position that the science is settled. (Both Nature and Science magazines have refused to run the physicists' open letter.)

The collapse of the "consensus" has been driven by reality. The inconvenient truth is that the earth's temperatures have flat-lined since 2001, despite growing concentrations of C02. Peer-reviewed research has debunked doomsday scenarios about the polar ice caps, hurricanes, malaria, extinctions, rising oceans. A global financial crisis has politicians taking a harder look at the science that would require them to hamstring their economies to rein in carbon.

To read the whole of Ms. Stassel's compelling piece click here

See Left Coast Rebel's excellent related discussion here

See also,'s piece here

Arlen Specter's Slow Slide into Oblivion...

From RealClearPolitics comes this more than half expected news about Arlen Specter's slow and richly deserved political demise:

PA Poll: Specter's Ratings Plummet
New Pennsylvania poll from Franklin and Marshall College has a tiny bit of good news but much more bad news for Democrat Arlen Specter.

The good news: Specter leads potential challenger Joe Sestak by 20 points in the Democratic primary. However, Sestak is not nearly as well known statewide as Specter, and 48% of Democrats remain undecided.

Specter 33
Sestak 13
Other 6
Undecided 48

Now the bad news for Specter: since switching parties on April 28 his ratings have taken a serious hit.

In March of this year Specter had a 52% job approval rating, today it's just 34%.

Specter's favorable rating has plummeted a net of 30 points in the past three months, swinging from a +24 (48 fav/24 unfav) in March to a -6 (31 fav/37 unfav) today.

Most troubling of all for Specter: 12 weeks ago 40% of voters said he deserved to be reelected, now only 28% support his reelection while 57% say it's "time for a change."

Other results from the poll: after a brief respite in March, Pennsylvanians are back to feeling more sour about the direction of the state. 44% say the Keystone state is headed in the right direction, while 48% say its moving down the wrong track. That's an 11-point negative swing since the last poll in March. Additionally, 43% of voters say they are "worse off" financially than they were a year ago, a seven-point increase from March.

F&M pegs President Obama's job approval rating at 55% while Governor Ed Rendell's approval rating is at a far more modest 38%.

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Rob Simmons Needs Help to Send Chris Dodd to an Irish Coastal Retirement

No doubt I'm gonna be flacked by a lot of libertarians for this, but I'm of the view that Connecticut and the country itself are in need of an emergency Doddectomy, so here it goes:

If you are in a position to contribute to Rob Simmons' campaign to oust Ted Kennedy's bestest friend from his 30 year perch, please, make a one time gift of whatever amount you're able to manage. Connecticut needs your help, America needs your help.

Reaganite Republican Resistance: Clintons Plotting Their Comeback on Obamamania's Ashes?

Reaganite Republican Resistance: Clintons Plotting Their Comeback on Obamamania's Ashes?

I encourage all to click the above link to read RRR's insightful and incisive piece on potential future turmoil within the ranks of the One.

Listen to Chris Dodd's Answering Machine...

Connecticut Republicans has a mildly funny website at

Pay a visit if you've got time to kill. You can click on the blinking phone buttons to get spoof VMs left for Chris from various "friends" and cohorts.
Publish Post

Qom Cabal picks Zahra Kazemi's Torquemada to hunt down its opponents

From the TIMES ONLINE comes the following news that the mullahs have appointed Saeed Mortazavi to hunt down and prosecute election and regime protestors. Mortazavi is best known as the Qom cabal's prosecutor responsible for ordering (and possibly actively supervising) the torture and murder of Canadian/Iranian journalist of Zahra Kazemi in 2003.

I'm left wondering just how much Mortazavi is going to enjoy the justice he gets when the Boys of Qom ultimately collapse ...

Saeed Mortazavi: butcher of the press - and torturer of Tehran?

(Photo: Raheb Homavandi/Reuters)

Jenny Booth and James Hider

The Iranian regime has appointed one of its most feared prosecutors to interrogate reformists arrested during demonstrations, prompting fears of a brutal crackdown against dissent.

Relatives of several detained protesters have confirmed that the interrogation of prisoners is now being headed by Saaed Mortazavi, a figure known in Iran as “the butcher of the press”. He gained notoriety for his role in the death of a Canadian-Iranian photographer who was tortured, beaten and raped during her detention in 2003.

“The leading role of Saeed Mortazavi in the crackdown in Tehran should set off alarm bells for anyone familiar with his record,” said Sarah Leah Whitson, the Middle East and North Africa director of Human Rights Watch.

As prosecutor-general of Tehran since 2003 and as a judge before that, he ordered the closure of more than 100 newspapers, journals and websites deemed hostile to the Establishment. In 2004 he was behind the detention of more than 20 bloggers and journalists, who were held for long periods of solitary confinement in secret prisons, where they were allegedly coerced into signing false confessions.

Mr Mortazavi has also led a crackdown in Tehran that has seen women arrested for wearing supposedly immodest clothing.

Earlier this year he oversaw the arrest and trial of Roxana Saberi, the American-Iranian journalist sentenced to eight years for spying, and his name has appeared on the arrest warrants of prominent reformists rounded up since the unrest started, such as Saeed Hajarian, a close aide of Mohammad Khatami, the reformist former President. With more than 600 people now having been arrested, including dozens of journalists, many fear the worst.

Mr Mortazavi became notorious for his role in the death of Zahra Kazemi while in Iranian custody on July 11, 2003. Kazemi, a freelance photojournalist with dual Iranian-Canadian nationality, was arrested while taking photographs outside Evin prison, Tehran, during an earlier period of reformist unrest in the city, also ruthlessly repressed.

The first news of what happened to Kazemi, 54, came in a statement from Mr Mortazavi, which said that she had died accidentally of a stroke while being interrogated.

Two days later a contradictory statement was issued, saying that she had fallen and hit her head.

On July 16 Mohammad Ali Abtahi, the Vice-President, admitted that Kazemi had died of a fractured skull after being beaten.

Mr Abtahi, who is no longer in office, was also arrested in the round-up of hundreds of dissidents and reformists overseen by Mr Mortazavi last week.

On July 21, Mr Mortazavi was appointed to head the official investigation into Kazemi's death. Reformists protested, saying that he lacked independence as he was involved in the case, and that as prosecutor general it had been his duty to ensure Kazemi's well-being in custody. The appointment went ahead anyway.

Shirin Ebadi, the Nobel prize-winning lawyer who represented Kazemi's family at the subsequent trial of a junior intelligence officer in July 2004, tried to sub-poena Mr Mortazavi to give evidence, but the judge declined. The defendant was cleared of the charge of semi-intentional murder.

There the matter rested until March 2005, when Shahram Azam, an Iranian military doctor, claimed asylum in Canada and revealed that he had examined Kazemi's body after her death. He said he had seen obvious signs of torture, including a fractured skull, broken nose, crushed toe, missing fingernails, broken fingers, marks from flogging, deep scratches on her neck, and severe abdominal bruising. A female nurse who examined Kazemi's genitals - he said he was forbidden to do so as a male doctor - told him there were signs of brutal rape.

Dr Azam's evidence reignited concern at Kazemi's death, with blame coalescing around Mr Mortazavi. The Canadian government continues to maintain that Mr Mortazavi not only ordered Kazemi's arrest but supervised her torture and was present when she was killed.

Reporters without Borders concurs: "It was Mortazavi who was chiefly responsible for Canadian-Iranian press photographer Zahra Kazemi's death."

Mr Mortazavi has repeatedly been accused of human rights abuses in the treatment of other detainees, including journalists who said they received death threats after reporting their alleged torture on Mr Mortazavi's orders while in custody in 2005, and students who say they were mistreated after they were pre-emptively arrested in 2008 because they were suspected of planning protests.

It was seen as a black joke when, in 2006, Iran selected Mr Mortazavi to lead its delegation to a meeting of the the United Nations Human Rights Council. Human Rights Watch appealed unsuccessfully for him to be dropped from the delegation, or for other nations to refuse to meet the Iran delegation while he remained in it.

Mr Mortazavi used his right to address the council to give a speech arguing that all nations had the right to free access to nuclear power, and accusing the council of being a catspaw of Western powers. He urged it to turn its attention to human rights abuses by the West, including bans on Holocaust denial, hostility to the burka, and atrocities committed by America during its War on Terror.

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Barney, Anthony, Fannie & Freddie: Un Menage a Quatre...

From Reuters comes the following story about that irrepressible oink, Barney Frank (D. Mass) and his New York colleague, Anthony Weiner (gag) who are once again after Fanny Mae & Freddie Mac to loosen their credit standards. Kinda makes one wonder just how much cash the Condo developers' lobbyists have dumped into these two Congressmen's 2010 campaign warchests.

Fannie, Freddie asked to relax condo loan rules: report

(Reuters) - Two U.S. Democratic lawmakers want Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac to relax recently tightened standards for mortgages on new condominiums, saying they could threaten the viability of some developments and slow the housing-market recovery, the Wall Street Journal said.

In March, Fannie Mae ... said it would no longer guarantee mortgages on condos in buildings where fewer than 70 percent of the units have been sold, up from 51 percent, the paper said. Freddie Mac ... is due to implement similar policies next month, the paper said.

In a letter to the CEO's of both companies, Representatives Barney Frank, the chairman of the House Financial Services Committee, and Anthony Weiner warned that a 70 percent sales threshold "may be too onerous" and could lead condo buyers to shun new developments, according to the paper.

The legislators asked the companies to "make appropriate adjustments" to their underwriting standards for condos, the paper added.

In an interview with the paper, Weiner said the rules have "had a real chill on the ability to get these condos sold," at a time when prices of condos have fallen enough to attract potential buyers.

In addition to the 70 percent sales threshold, Fannie Mae will also not purchase mortgages in buildings where 15 percent of owners are delinquent on condo association dues or where one owner has more than 10 percent of units, as the firm sees these as signals that a building could run into financial trouble, the paper added. Both Fannie and Freddie are preparing a response to the lawmakers, according to the paper.

Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac could not be immediately reached for comment by Reuters.

(Reporting by Chakradhar Adusumilli in Bangalore; editing by Simon Jessop)

© Thomson Reuters 2009 All rights reserved


BTW: It should be noted that Barney was a recent winner of Citizen's Against Government Waste's "Porker of the Month" Award (March 2009). To read CAGW's highly entertaining tribute to the rotund and nearly incomprehensible congressman representing Massachusetts' 4th Congressional District, click here. I promise, it's worth your time.


Life is short, periodic levity is essential, to that end I provide below (courtesy of YouTube) the brilliant Paul Shanklin's Barney Frank song spoof: "Banking Queen" to the tune of ABBA's "Dancing Queen." Enjoy!

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

On Iran, Libertarians Cede the Credo to Conservatives...

Eric Dondero at Libertarian Republican has a thoughtful piece on this strange irony titled:

When Conservatives are more Libertarian, than the Libertarians

What a reversal. Freedom is breaking out across Iran. We are witnessing one of the most historical events of our lifetimes, comparable no doubt to the fall of the Berlin Wall. Yet, Libertarians, outside of this political news blog, Atlas Shrugs, the Libertarian Defense Caucus, and a few other libertarian Republicans, are for the most part silent.

Virtually no reportage at Reason. In the last week, just two articles on the whole Iranian Revolution at Reason, and one was more of a criticism of how CNN was covering the event, than coverage of the event itself. Cato is similarly unengaged.

The usual suspects on the Libertarian Left,, Justin Raimondo and, and the Ron Paulists, are preaching the same "stay the hell out" line, they've been arguing for years. Some are even cheering on Obama for not making any statements seemingly in support of the protesters.

Incredibly, not a single press release has been sent out by the Libertarian Party on the biggest issue of the day.

So, where are all the freedoms lovers in the United States to be found?

On the Conservative Right.

See the whole of Eric's post by clicking here.

Monday, June 22, 2009

Neda Agha Soltan - An Unwitting Martyr

Dr. Aresh Hejazi on BBC speaking about his efforts to save Neda Soltan's life. He is now in the UK and likely will not be able to return to Iran on account of his interview:


Below is a
very graphic, chilling and ultimately heartbreaking video capturing the moment of death of Neda Agha Soltan - a young woman in Tehran - murdered by an apparent Basij militia man standing on a rooftop.

Per reports, Neda was standing beside her father on a street nearly a kilometer from the center of the main demonstration watching passing protesters flee tear gas. There is so far no indication that she herself was a protester...

To: Ali Khamenei, puppet Ahmedinejad and the rest of the corrupt and spiritually bankrupt cabal of mullahs and Pasdarani scum now killing Iran, you are the criminals.

If there is a God - and I believe there is - it is my prayer and sincerest hope that God deliver you the justice you richly deserve upon your demise.

HotAir has more on this story here

The SHIFT: Obama's Presidential Approval Index rating is now -2

Scott Rasmussen's most recent Daily Presidential Tracking Poll indicates that Obama's numbers have gone negative for the first time since he took office January 20th.

Obama's Approval Index has slipped to -2. The Index figure is calculated by subtracting the percentage of respondents who strongly disapprove (34% in this last poll) of the President's performance from the percentage who strongly approve (32%) of his performance. Obama remains personally popular with 53% generally approving of his performance, however that number is well off its high of even just a few months ago.

Time will tell whether this is a watershed event for the President, but I wouldn't want to be working for Axelrod or Emanuel right now!

UPDATE AS OF TODAY (2009-6-22), OBAMA'S APPROVAL INDEX IS -1, marking two straight days of negative numbers. Go here for current tracking polls. For historical daily tracking trends, click here


The Rasmussen Reports daily Presidential Tracking Poll for Sunday shows that 32% of the nation's voters now Strongly Approve of the way that Barack Obama is performing his role as President. Thirty-four percent (34%) Strongly Disapprove giving Obama a Presidential Approval Index rating of -2. That’s the President’s lowest rating to date and the first time the Presidential Approval Index has fallen below zero for Obama.
To read the whole article, go here

Friday, June 19, 2009

3 Inspectors General down, how many more to go?


Removal of an inspector

By Bill Wilson

In firing AmeriCorps Inspector General Gerald Walpin last week, President Obama probably thought he and his wife, Michelle, were the ones "sending the message."

After all, dispensing petty political retribution on behalf of one's crooked friends is the "Chicago way," is it not? And the firing of Mr. Walpin would no doubt have lasting benefits for the Obamas, too, seeing as inspectors general throughout the federal government would get the message that "FOBAMs" - or "Friends of Barack and Michelle" - were not to be touched in the future.

What Mr. and Mrs. "Hope and Change" failed to take into account was that when you circumvent the law to protect political hoodlums, you have a way of becoming political hoodlums yourselves.

Bill Wilson is president of Americans for Limited Government. To read the rest of his piece, click here.


From the Chicago Tribune comes this story on the discharge of two more I.G. who appear to have irritated the the White House in the course of their investigations. It would appear that in the case of two of the now total of three firings, Obama has violated federal law. One might wonder whether Obama even realizes how positively Nixonian he has become.


Senator asks about firings of watchdogs

Removal of 2 inspectors general prompts questions

By Tom Hamburger and Peter Wallsten

He was appointed with fanfare as the public watchdog over the government's multi-billion dollar bailout of the nation's financial system. But now Neil Barofsky is embroiled in a dispute with the Obama administration that delayed one recent inquiry and sparked questions about his ability to freely investigate.

The disagreement stems from a claim by the Treasury Department that Barofsky is not entirely independent of the agency he is assigned to examine a claim that has prompted a stern letter from a Republican senator warning that agency officials are encroaching on the integrity of an office created to protect taxpayers.

Sen. Charles Grassley, R- Iowa, sent the letter Wednesday to Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner demanding information about a "dispute over certain Treasury documents" that he said were being "withheld" from Barofsky's office on a "specious claim of attorney-client privilege."

A White House spokesman declined to comment, referring questions to the Treasury Department. Treasury spokesman Andrew Williams said late Wednesday that the agency would read Grassley's letter and respond to the senator before any public comment.

The dispute comes as Grassley, ranking Republican on the Senate Finance Committee, is looking into the abrupt firings within the last week of two other inspectors general, one of whom was fired by the White House and the other by the chair of the International Trade Commission.

Both inspectors general had investigated sensitive subjects at the time of their firings.

Grassley is now concerned about whether a pattern is emerging in which the independence of the government's top watchdogs -- whose jobs were authorized by Congress to look out for waste, fraud and abuse -- is being put at risk.

The first dismissal occurred last week, when the White House terminated Gerald Walpin, inspector general of the service agency AmeriCorps. Walpin claims his dismissal was unjust, the result of political interference.

That controversy deepened with Grassley's complaint Wednesday that the White House wasn't answering questions posed by his staff.

Walpin had led an investigation of Sacramento Mayor Kevin Johnson of Sacramento, Calif., a former NBA player and Obama supporter. Johnson started a nonprofit education program that Walpin's office alleged had misused federal funds.

In a letter sent late Wednesday to the White House, Grassley charged that a White House lawyer who delivered the news to Walpin and who was summoned to the senator's office, "refused to answer several direct questions" about the dismissal.

The firing drew criticism from Republicans and Democrats, who charged that it violated a new law passed last year to protect the independence of inspectors general by requiring 30 days notice and a full explanation to Congress of the dismissal of any IG.

Separately this week, the International Trade Commission told its acting inspector general, who is not subject to White House authority, that her contract would not be renewed.

Grassley had become concerned about her independence because of a report earlier in the year that an agency employee forcibly took documents from the acting inspector general.

"It is difficult to understand why the ITC would not have taken action to ensure that the ITC inspector general had the information necessary to do the job," Grassley wrote on Tuesday.

Less than three hours after the letter was e-mailed to the agency, the acting IG, Judith Gwynne, was told that her contract, which expires in early July, would not be renewed.

Saturday, June 13, 2009

Developing story, or nothing at all....? Obama v. Walpin

From the Associated Press comes a somewhat curious tale of a GOP appointed Inspector General (Gerald Walpin/Corporation for National and Community Service) fired by Obama ostensibly for the manner and quality of an investigation Walpin conducted into the finances of an education non-profit headed up by Obama supporter, Sacramento Kali-FOR-Knee-ah mayor Kevin Johnson.

This firing smells highly political. Presumably the Corporation for National and Community Service would have a major role in monitoring the spending of tax-payer funds to be given Obama's favorite community service crew, ACORN. I can see why Obama would be deeply reticent to have a diligent GOP appointed I.G. monitoring ACORN's activities going forward; then again, maybe there is merit to the firing.... Time will tell.

UPDATE: Michelle Malkin discusses this story in great depth here

Ousted AmeriCorps watchdog defends waste probe
June 12, 2009 8:39 PM EDT

WASHINGTON - An inspector general fired by President Barack Obama said Friday he acted "with the highest integrity" in investigating AmeriCorps and other government-funded national service programs. Gerald Walpin said in an interview with The Associated Press that he reported facts and conclusions "in an honest and full way" while serving as inspector general at the Corporation for National and Community Service.

In a letter to Congress on Thursday, Obama said he had lost confidence in Walpin and was removing him from the position.

Walpin defended his work on Friday. "I know that I and my office acted with the highest integrity as an independent inspector general should act," he said.

Obama's move follows an investigation by Walpin finding misuse of federal grants by a nonprofit education group led by Sacramento Mayor Kevin Johnson, who is an Obama supporter and former NBA basketball star. Johnson and a nonprofit education academy he founded ultimately agree to repay half of $847,000 in grants it had received from AmeriCorps.

Walpin was criticized by the acting U.S. attorney in Sacramento for the way he handled the investigation of Johnson and St. HOPE Academy.

"It is vital that I have the fullest confidence in the appointees serving as inspectors general," Obama said in the letter to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., and Vice President Joe Biden, who also serves as president of the Senate. "That is no longer the case with regard to this inspector general."

The president didn't offer any more explanation, but White House Counsel Gregory Craig, in a letter late Thursday to Sen. Charles Grassley, R-Iowa, cited the U.S. attorney's criticism of Walpin to an integrity committee for inspectors general.

For the balance of this Article, go here

Saturday, June 6, 2009

Chris Dodd's Glib Response to Questions Concerning Sotomayor's Decision in Ricci v. DeStefano

My colleague who brings us "The Artful Doddger" has a great post on Dodd's dutifully un-informed non-position on SCOTUS nominee Sandra Sotomayor's opinion in Ricci v. DeStefano.

Chris Dodd's Lack Of Empathy

Connecticut has been host to a number of cases in Supreme Court history that have had a profound impact on the legal landscape of our country, such as Griswold v. Connecticut, and more recently, Kelo v. City of New London. Over the past few weeks, as most Connecticut residents have noticed, the Constitution State is again at the center of the legal universe, this time in a reverse discrimination case arising out of the city of New Haven.

Ricci v. DeStefano is a lawsuit brought by white firefighters (including a Hispanic) who scored well on a promotional exam but were ultimately not promoted when the city refused to certify the exam results because following the procedures in place would not have resulted in enough black firefighters being promoted soon enough. Judge Sotomayor was on the Second Circuit panel that upheld the dismissal of the plaintiff's complaint. The full text of the per curiam opinion she signed on to is reproduced below:
To read the whole of it, including the 2nd Circuit's stunningly brief opinion, and Dodd's glib non-answer, go here

Chris Dodd and "the company he keeps": Countrywide's Angelo Mozilo

From Rob Simmons' campaign:

Dear [Your Blog Host],

They say you can tell a lot about a man by the company he keeps.

Yesterday, Angelo Mozilo of Countrywide Mortgage -- the one who gave Senator Dodd his infamous "Friends of Angelo" loan -- was charged with fraud by the Securities and Exchange Commission.

More than a year after Senator Dodd's sweetheart loan from Angelo Mozilo was uncovered, more questions than answers remain.

Senator Dodd promised to release all the documents relating to his $800,000 loans and has failed to do so. In February, he invited a select group of reporters to his office for a few minutes to skim through 100 pages of documents, but not copy or remove them!

It's time for Chris Dodd to come clean about his VIP mortgage from Angelo Mozilo. Please click here to send a message to Senator Dodd demanding full disclosure of his "Friends of Angelo" documents.

Incredibly, Senator Dodd continues to claim that he had no idea that the loan -- which saved him $75,000 -- was being used by the nation's #1 subprime lender to buy influence.

If Senator Dodd expects us to believe that, he should post these documents online for public review -- and clear the air once and for all.

When a corporate tycoon charged with fraud is involved in an influence-peddling scheme with a U.S. Senator, citizens deserve nothing less than the full truth. Please join me in sending a strong, united message that it's time for full disclosure about Chris Dodd's friendship with Angelo Mozilo.

All the best,

Rob Simmons

Friday, June 5, 2009

CAGW.ORG's May Porkers: Rep. Henry ("the Snout") Waxman, D-CA and Rep. Edward Markey, D-MA

Reps. Henry Waxman and Edward Markey CAGW’s May Porkers of the Month

Citizens Against Government Waste (CAGW) today named House Energy and Commerce Committee Chairman Henry Waxman (D-Calif.) and House Energy and the Environment Subcommittee Chairman Ed Markey (D-Mass.) its May Porkers of the Month. They are the ringleaders behind H.R. 2454, the American Clean Energy and Security Act of 2009 (ACESA), the Waxman-Markey bill.

As the negative economic realities of the bill have become clear, negotiations have degenerated into a circus as Reps. Waxman and Markey frantically jump through hoops, adding and altering provisions to placate special interests and buy the votes of appropriately skeptical members of Congress from states which stand to lose if the bill passes.

The Waxman-Markey bill would purportedly do two things. First, it would reduce greenhouse gases by having the government set annual carbon emissions limits which would steadily ratchet lower. Second, the Environmental Protection Agency would distribute carbon permits to companies, and since some companies will be over the limits and some will be under, those whose emissions exceed the limits would have to buy more permits from the government or from other firms in this new government-created and managed “market.”

Waxman-Markey is a job-killer, with estimates of job losses ranging from 1 to 2.5 million by 2030. It imposes enormous cost burdens on companies and industries and will drain the nation’s gross domestic product by $9.6 trillion by 2035. It will drive consumer utility bills up dramatically, a fact that President Obama himself admitted during the campaign when he stated that consumer energy bills “would necessarily skyrocket” and Director of the Office of Management and Budget Peter Orszag reiterated when he confirmed that “price increases would be essential to the success of a cap and trade program.” Families will pay an average of $1,500 more in energy costs per year. Waxman-Markey would create complicated new financial instruments similar to those that played an integral role in the collapse of the mortgage market. Despite the authors’ claims that the bill would create jobs, the bill contains a provision that would grant any worker laid off as a result of the program a “climate change adjustment allowance,” three year’s worth of salary payments, health insurance premiums, up to $1,500 in a relocation allowance, as well as $1,500 for job search expenses.

For cracking the whip behind this Cirque du Disarray and for ballyhooing a bill that deserves to collapse under the weight of its own faulty assumptions, byzantine structural flaws, and astronomical costliness, carnival con-men Reps. Henry Waxman and Ed Markey are CAGW’s May Porkers of Month.

Citizens Against Government Waste is the nation's largest nonpartisan, nonprofit organization dedicated to eliminating waste, fraud, abuse, and mismanagement in government. Porker of the Month is a dubious honor given to lawmakers, government officials, and political candidates who have shown a blatant disregard for the interests of taxpayers.


UPDATE: For more on the sick antics of Henry Waxman, Hollyweird's very own Congressman, go to Left Coast Rebel by clicking here

U.S. DOJ vs. State and Citizens of Georgia

From RASSMUSSEN REPORTS comes the following:

The Department of Justice on Tuesday said the state of Georgia's system cannot check driver’s license and Social Security numbers to prove that prospective voters are U.S. citizens.

Georgia’s voters have an entirely different perspective. Rasmussen Reports polling conducted during Election 2008 found that 77% said prospective voters should first be required to show a legal photo ID first.

Georgia’s voters also held that view two years earlier despite a state judge’s ruling that a new law requiring a photo ID at the polls was a violation of the state constitution.

Nationally, three-out-of-four U.S. voters (76%) said a person should be required to show photo identification While the Justice Department expressed concern that photo ID requirements might disenfranchise some voters, a plurality of voters nationwide have the opposite concern. Forty-two percent (42%) believe it is more common for people to vote illegally than it is for legal voters to be denied that right. Thirty-three percent (33%) disagree and say it is more likely that people are prevented from voting who should be allowed to do so.

The state of Georgia complains the latest Justice Department action will allow non-citizens to vote, but the Justice Department said the state’s system discriminated against minority voters. The ACLU and the Mexican American Legal Defense and Education (MALDEF) have sued the state over the law.


OK, I think I'm finally catching on...

Per Eric Holder's DOJ, The New Black Panther Party for Self Defense are entitled to intimidate voters at the polls, but states cannot require routine identification documents to ensure that a prospective voter is in fact a citizen and entitled to vote. The Obama administration is just delivering on its campaign promise to institute "Change" we can believe in. How very comforting!

UPDATE: Turns out that Michelle Malkin yesterday touched on the transparent hypocrisy of Holder's DOJ in these two voting cases. Sorry Michelle, I stop by often but not everyday.